Crimson Tide fans already know the story about redshirt-junior quarterback Greg McElroy.
At Southlake Carroll High School in Texas, he was the backup to Chase Daniel, the 2004 EA Sports National High School Player of the Year.
McElroy played one season of varsity football. In 2005, he made that one season count, throwing for 4,687 yards and a Texas 5A-record 56 touchdowns. Southlake Carroll won its third state title in four seasons.
He also led them to a 16-0 record.
He was committed to play for Texas Tech, until he changed his mind and decided to sign with Alabama after he visited the campus a few weeks after the 2006 Cotton Bowl.
He backed up John Parker Wilson for three years. Thus far, he has thrown for 196 yards and two touchdowns.
Alabama fans remember what happened on 3rd-and-6 on the Auburn 34-yard line. Shotgun snap, McElroy looks off the safety, then throws a perfectly thrown 34-yard pass to Marquis Maze for a touchdown, which capped off six years of Alabama frustration in losing to their in-state rival. The message boards were buzzing after that play.
Thinking about the 2008 Iron Bowl made me think of this question:
What if that 34-yard pass against Auburn didn't happen?
Ever since then, the Bama Nation has placed high expectations on McElroy based off this one pass, and his high school career.
That was the last pass he threw. But everyone is forgetting McElroy's last image as a 'Bama quarterback.
Let's go back to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where No. 9-ranked Alabama had a commanding...well, scout-team 42-7 lead over Arkansas in the fourth quarter. McElroy faced a 3rd-and-4 on the Alabama 29 yard line. He dropped back, looked to his right, and threw a pass that was intercepted by Arkansas' Ramon Broadway.
He didn't throw another pass for the rest of the game.
The message boards did not sound too positive after that throw. Few posters then conceded to the fact that the interception was the reason Wilson was the starter and maybe there was a reason why McElroy couldn't beat out Wilson for the starting job.
Had that 34-yard pass never happened, Crimson Tide fans would have the image of McElroy's interception, and his stellar high school career.
The point of all this is that we don't know how well McElroy will perform this year for the Crimson Tide. He hasn't played against other SEC defenses yet, and he faces the daunting task of his first start against a highly-touted Virginia Tech defense. He may practice every day against one of the nation's best defenses, but game speed is a different story.
There is not much that we can base off of McElroy. All we know is that being the quarterback of the Alabama Crimson Tide is probably the third-toughest job in the state, behind the head coach of Alabama and the Governor, respectively.
But it is not fair for the young man to have his season predicated on one pass.